Mark Latham leads a wild ‘freedom protest’ in Sydney’s CBD as he demands the government stop sacking teachers for attending ‘anti-lockdown’ rallies
- An anti-vaccine rally was held outside NSW Parliament House on Tuesday
- Hundreds of people attended chanting slogans and holding ‘freedom’ placards
- One Nation leader for NSW Mark Latham delivered a fiery speech at the rally
- Around 10,000 NSW teachers have left the profession in the past year
One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham has led an anti-vaccine rally outside Parliament House a day after a fiery rant claiming teachers were sacked for attending similar rallies.
A crowd of hundreds of anti-vaxxers gathered outside Sydney‘s centre of government on Wednesday afternoon as Mr Latham spoke.
Some held upside-down Australian flags and placards reading ‘stop the lies’, ‘freedom not fear’, and ‘geo engineering equals climate change‘.
On Monday, Mr Latham wrote to his Mark Latham’s Outsiders Facebook page with claims teachers were sacked for attending anti-vaccine protests last year.
Hundreds of anti-vaccine protesters gathered outside NSW Parliament House in Sydney on Tuesday including Mark Latham (pictured)
The crowd chanted slogans and waved signs which read ‘stop the lies’ and ‘we the people’; a phrase which is commonly linked to the American constitution
‘Stop sacking our teachers,’ Mr Latham wrote.
‘Can you believe that, during severe teacher shortages, the NSW Education Department have been terminating the contracts of teachers who attended peaceful anti-lockdown protests last year in country NSW?’
The claims of sackings are unconfirmed. Daily Mail Australia has contacted the NSW Education Department for comment.
In NSW, two Covid vaccine doses are mandated for teachers, with the rule applying from November 8 last year.
More than 98 per cent of teachers had registered as vaccinated as the rule took effect, with 2,700 teachers not declaring their vaccine status, though it’s expected some have since confirmed they are vaccinated.
Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said the mandates put further pressure on the already struggling education sector.
One Nation leader Mark Latham speaks to a large gathering of protesters on Sydney’s Macquarie Street (pictured)
Mr Latham made an unverified claim on Monday that teachers in country NSW had been sacked for attending similar protests
‘There is no doubt (unvaccinated teachers leaving their job) will add to the stress experienced by the system,’ he told The Australian.
‘Non-competitive salaries, an ageing teaching service and ever-growing expectations on teachers and principals are all making it a less attractive profession for young, high-achieving students.’
On December 7 last year, NSW public school teachers called a statewide strike over what they said was the government’s failure to address unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries.
‘This will be the first 24-hour stoppage in a decade and it reflects the gravity of the situation we find ourselves in,’ Mr Gavrielatos said ahead of that protest.
‘The Perrottet government is refusing to listen to the warnings of its own education department that the unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries of teachers are contributing to growing shortages and turning people off teaching,’ Mr Gavrielatos said.
One woman held a placard reading ‘geo engineering equals climate change’ (pictured)
‘This is about the future of the teaching profession and the quality of education children receive.
‘No student should miss out because of a lack of teachers but this is what is going to increasingly happen across NSW if the government fails to act.’
Earlier this year it was revealed about 10,000 teachers left the profession in NSW last year due to a variety of factors.
At a NSW budget estimates hearing Labor MLC Anthony D’Adam provided documents showing the number of educators that lost their accreditation in 2021.
‘The total number of people who have ceased having proficient accreditation is 10,198, isn’t that correct?’ Mr D’Adam asked.
‘It appears that is correct,’ Paul Martin, CEO of the NSW Education Standards Authority responded.
Other protesters were seen holding signs including one reading ‘freedom not fear’